Have you been worried about how your relationship with your parents will change as they age? Here are some tips on how to manage this
If you have the privilege of seeing your parents age. Consider this a blessing because some people have had to say goodbye for good to their parents. As your parents age you will notice a lot of changes in their mobility and your relationship with them will also change. If you have been wondering how you can improve your relationship with your aging parents continue reading you may find useful tips.
Expect these changes to be quite emotional for both your parents and yourself. It will not be easy for your mom or dad to accept that they are not able to perform some duties as well as they used to. You may also feel a bit overwhelmed at the change in your role because you somehow have to step in and take care of them.
Please do not suppress the emotions that come with these changes. As the emotions arise, work through them. This will contribute immensely to a stronger, healthier relationship with your parents as you both face the challenges that are brought about by aging.
Nurture Your Relationship With Aging Parents. Here’s how:
1. Assess the current affairs of your relationship with your parents
It will not be a very easy task in the beginning to set clear goals. There may be some initial resistance on both sides because both yourself and your parents need to get comfortable with the change in your relationship. Below are some questions that will help you develop some intentional goals.
- What is the current state of your relationship with your parents? Has there been tension in your relationship in the past, or do you have a fairly healthy relationship? Do they prefer to do everything themselves or are they willing to accept help?
- Are you proud of the relationship you have built with your mom or dad? Do you frequently call your mom or dad to check up on them? Have you always found it easy to express even your deepest emotions with your mother? Have you stayed close or drifted apart from your parents over the years?
- Are there things you would like to improve on? Do you wish you were closer and could confide in each other which will make it easier to help them? Would you like to call and visit them more frequently?
The above questions will give you a clear picture of where your relationship is with your parents. They will also help you identify areas that need your attention in order to strengthen your relationship. Do not overlook the strong aspects of your relationship because that could be a deeper building block and will help you set goals that will build your relationship for the better.
2. Set out clear goals for the relationship
- Strengthen relationship – Asses and think about how close you are currently with your parents and how deeper you would like that to be. Then think about things you can do together to strengthen your relationship. Some examples can be scheduling time in the week to call and find out how they are doing. When you make the phone call, plan on some of the things you want to discuss. Such as, reflecting about favorite memories and any current experiences.
- Invest in quality time – Set out quality time to spend with your mom or dad. Plan activities that your parents would enjoy that would not be too strenuous for them. Commit to spending that time with the exclusively with no distractions.
- Find out more about your family history – Make a list of questions you would like to ask your parents about your family history. Perhaps you can even find out about your culture and family traditions and document it for future generations.
3. Take it easy. One day at a time.
All relationships take time. Be patient with the process of getting the relationship you want to have with your parents. It is reality that some of our parents are very private and struggle with asking and accepting help.
In closing, below are some thoughts you can hold on to in order to build a stronger relationship
- Don’t overwhelm them and yourself trying to do too many things at once. Give yourself and your parents time to adjust to changes you may be experiencing in this new dimension of your relationship.
- Be patient. You may have the urge to spend quality time and handle their finances all to quickly. Allow your parents to process the emotions that come with the thoughts that they may need to lose their independence. Allow them to share with you what they are going through.
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